The Hors d’Oeuvre Loaded With Christmas

I went to a Christmas party with friends this weekend. As we were supposed to bring hors d’oeuvres, n the spirit of the season, I challenged myself to cram as much Christmas into an appetizer as I could. So here’s what I did:

The base was a single venison chop, emblematic of a reindeer. I cooked whole racks to rare on my Big Green Egg so a slight smoke (reminiscent of a chimney) permeated it, and coated it with a spice mix of cinnamon, clove, ginger, garlic, fennel seed, allspice, salt, pepper, and brown sugar, which smells like Christmas. Under that was a balsamic-apple reduction (thickened with xantham gum) scented with the spice rub. On top of that I put a “snow” of rosemary-infused olive oil which I had turned into a power using tapioca maltodextrin. The rosemary scent was meant to remind of a Christmas tree.

To the side I made little “yule logs” consisting of bunches of dressed pea shoots combined with enoki mushrooms which had been roasted in truffle oil, tied together with blanched green nabi grass (to remind of ribbon and presents). I then garnished with pomegranate seeds as “ornaments” for texture and sweetness.

Sorry, I could not get a picture of the plate for the blog. Big failure on my part – I was focused on plating too much. But interesting fact I just learned googling for a picture of the Griswold house for the photo – the same exact “house” was also the Murtaugh home in Lethal Weapon. Weird…


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